Newsletter Spring 2015

Newsletter Spring 2015




Fort Wayne Riverfront Master Plan Revealed

After numerous (and enthusiastic) community meetings and workshops, Fort Wayne, Indiana, has a master plan for the St. Marys Riverfront, courtesy of the Houston office. Highlights of the mixed-use agenda—which honors nature, recreation, and development equally—include a two-level, boardwalk-style pedestrian promenade along the riverbanks, shopping, dining, cultural activities, residential buildings, and incubator businesses.

IDEAS Blog: Landscapes for the Supertalls

According to designer John Wong, “The most important consideration in the conceptual approach for supertall landscape design is not just solving issues of environmental appropriateness and sustainability but also focusing on human sustainability, in terms of integrating the design into the community—designing an urban environment that promotes and advances human civilization, fosters innovation, and allows for social, cultural and economic processes to occur and evolve over time.”

A Week in the Life of a Landscape Architect

Sean O’Malley, managing principal of the Laguna Beach office, recently found himself between a rock and a hard place on a job site in China. Track his progress through a typical work week to learn what most occupied him. This is the first in a series of profles on SWA principals.


Fig Central Breaks Ground in Downtown LA

The exterior spaces at Figueroa Central will seek to complement the vibrant energy and 24/7 activity of the district. We live in a world immersed by digital media and see the landscape as a conduit for this heightened interactive experience. We also firmly reassert our need to connect with the physical/natural environment through the tactical placement of vegetation to create sculpted, intimate spaces that facilitate different levels of activity and interaction informed by site context and program. Fig Central represents this synthesis.

The Lakes in Baton Rouge

“One of the most drastic proposed changes to the lakes…is the variety of landscapes surrounding the water’s edge. Wetlands, cypress swamp, gardens and meadows hug the shoreline, creating a subtler edge while also fostering a healthier ecosystem to sustain improved water quality. Rather than a shoreline drop-off with mirror-like water below, a few yards of wetlands at the water’s edge might resemble a small buffer of swampland.” Many local residents and ecological experts agree the project is overdue and much needed.


Competitive Spirit: 3 New Competition Wins

In Shekou/Shenzhen PRC, the Shanghai office will tackle a waterfront development divided into three components—maritime, commercial, and community pockets—within a master plan by OMA. Prince Bay Urban Waterfront provides entry into mainland China from Hong Kong, Macao, and Zhuhai. For the New Taipei City Museum of Art, the Sausalito office is paired with Kris Yao | ARTECH (click for details). The Laguna Beach office won the Nanchang International Urban Design & Planning Competition for 36K waterfront and 400K existing urban/development. SWA partnered with the Guangzhou Urban Planning & Design Institute.

Capella Ixtapa “3rd Best” in U.S. News & World Report

Voted #3 in the “Best Pacific Coast” Hotels category. “For some visitors, the best part of Capella’s suites was the sense of privacy afforded by the rooms’ spacious thatched terraces. Still, with the property’s ample on-site amenities and gorgeous surroundings, you’ll want to carve out some time to explore the rest of the property grounds.”

Recent Awards

We’re honored to be recognized by the following awards programs: Center for Active Design, READesign, SCUP, Texas ASLA, and ULI

Fellowship Recipient Speaks at International Conference

Dallas-based Amanda Kronk, one of three winners of SWA’s annual Patrick Curran Fellowship, spoke at the International Wildlife Conference in Chicago this May. Her “Wildlife Infrastructure” developed a database to help designers preserve habitat corridors as critical components in the overall infrastructure of urban sites. Phase 1 focused on avian migration data in the Texas Gulf and California’s Bay Area. Birds serve as indicators of overall healthy ecosystems. Kronk’s research garnered a Merit Award from Texas ASLA.

New Visual Identity Created by Sagmeister & Walsh

Who is SWA today and what does that look like? Each new leadership team considers this issue at least every decade or so! As an employee-owned, studio-based group of designers focused on landscape architecture, planning, and urban design, with hundreds of current projects ranging from sprawling (the Shenzhen Bay restoration master plan) to small (pro-bono pocket parks in Los Angeles), and with work generated by over 30 seasoned principals in 7 offices, SWA means different things to different audiences.



New Hotel Tower in the Works for Dallas Uptown District
Dallas News

Sun City Kobe retirement community, a seamless merger of architecture, landscape, and interiors

Long Island City explodes architecturally ahead of Amazon’s arrival

Hurricane-Proof Park: Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park
Landscape Architect & Specifier News

“The Clearing” Selected for Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial
College of Design, University of Minnesota

Garden Grove and Santa Ana OK Development of Willowick Golf Course
Voice of OC

Improvements for Evelyn’s Park in Bellaire?

Top 50 Master Planned Communities of 2018
John Burns Real Estate Consulting

The Making of a Memorial: Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial
Landscape Architecture Magazine

Live and Learn: AI and the Shaping of Landscapes
Landscape Architecture Magazine

SWA Chairman John Wong to Speak at Stanford on February 13
Stanford University

The Next Frontier in Office Space? The Outdoors
The New York Times

Exhibition: Urban Sensorium by XL Lab, SWA’s Research and Innovation Arm
The Globe and Mail

Woodbine and IMG Academy Complete The Legacy Hotel

Small Changes Can Have Big Architectural Impact: Modifying a Chinatown Housing Tower
San Francisco Chronicle

IMG Academy, Woodbine Complete Boutique Hotel in Central Florida
Rebusiness Online

SWA Design in Japan Cited as Future of Senior Housing
Hospitality Design

5 Public Parks in NYC by SWA/Balsley
Untapped Cities

SWA Designing Landscape for 27-Story Tower in L.A.’s Chinatown

2018 Was the Year of the Aspirational Park (Hunter’s Point South among Them)

Buffalo Bayou Park, Post-Harvey is chosen for LAF Case Study Investigation
Landscape Architecture Foundation

“Best of 2018” includes Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park: Building for Complex Experiences
The Wall Street Journal

Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park Shines in 2018 Landscape Architecture Highs and Lows

Security Features to be Built into Sandy Hook Memorial Design
WLAD Danbury

Maximizing the Potential of Drones: SWA Weighs In
The Dirt